Goodbear: Dougal, Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh ****
Luckily, Pleasance Dome have two extraordinarily talented venue workers – Joe and Henry - who keep us very very happy for an hour. To say nothing of Dougal the easily triggered show technician. This show is an hilarious Slinky, tumbling down the stairs of funny, each sketch morphing into the next on the changing of a sound cue or a lighting effect. Some are funnier than others but they are all clever stuff.
The opener, set in the heat of battle, is an excruciatingly funny parody, the ongoing, cross-country romance of Florence and Walter is a wonderful running (well, walking) gag, sexual tension at a nineteenth century ball is pitch perfect and even darkness is embraced in the spooky puppet sketch which has the best (one of the few) punchline in the show. Hypnotists and great apes, the Delvavado Sisters and Albert the homecoming hero all pour out across the floor in their own kind of funny.
The craft and the care in this show are hugely impressive. The skill in taking the tiniest moment at the end of one sketch and use it as the blue touch paper for the next is wonderful to watch. I am so engaged that I use precious battery power to help light their big emotional finish with my phone torch. This is aspirational and inspirational sketch comedy. And Dougal is a model for all great technicians (although he needs to get over himself a bit). I don't mean to sound nasty, but I am glad Goodbear didn't turn up. They could never be as good as Joe and Henry. 360 degree comedy which you really should see. Charge your phone first.
Until 25 August